The illegal puppy trade and its consequences

Quarantine! Probably the most terrifying feeling for a defenseless, proximity-seeking little puppy dog. No matter if dog, cat or mouse. Being sick is very unpleasant! But to be sick lonely… that is terrible! Unfortunately, it looks the same in the clinics and practices that treat puppies suffering from parvovirosis. Because the virus is very contagious and robust. Therefore, the often very weak puppies must be isolated by a quarantine station.

How Sam the puppy spent Christmas alone in the quarantine station

At this point I would like to tell you the story of little Sam, who was brought as a present by Santa Claus, got diarrhea shortly afterwards and was admitted to the veterinary clinic with suspected parvovirosis. Unfortunately, the new owners did not think about the fact that it can be very expensive to have a sick dog, so the little one was given away. So there he was, sitting in the quarantine ward with an IV, a red light and his head bowed, having become the property of the clinic.

Through intensive monitoring, feeding and a lot of love from the vets and caretakers, little Sam recovered relatively quickly. After various tests were carried out to make sure the infection was over, discharge was imminent. Sam was taken to the nearest animal shelter. He spent a few more weeks there to recover and was finally transferred back to a new family. Sam was really lucky in that the mortality rate for parvovirosis disease is almost 80%.

Why does the illegal puppy trade pose a great danger?

This story is unfortunately not an isolated case! Especially in the area of Berlin there is a lively illegal puppy trade due to the proximity to Poland. The pups are usually raised there in poor conditions. The quick buck is the focus of the self-proclaimed breeder here. Unfortunately at the expense of the young-. Of course also of the dam. Because often the health condition is questionable and there is often an outbreak of diseases that could actually be prevented.

Because often neither bitch, nor offspring are vaccinated or dewormed. Thus, due to the rearing situation and hygiene deficiencies, there is always rapid spread and transmission. Often the cute puppies are offered through online marketplaces, or taken directly during a vacation in Poland or neighboring countries. Happy and packed with the new addition to the family, the vacationers return home. But cheerful doesn't last too long in many cases – when the animal gets sick.

Interview: in conversation with a young veterinarian

How often do puppies come to you in the practice?

Most often seniors, diabetes patients and gastric torsion find their way into the practice. Dog puppies fortunately come rather rarely. Mostly it is about routine examinations and vaccinations.

What are the reasons for the visit to the vet?

Puppies come with different diseases. They often show symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, fever and apathy. Lameness, worm infections and partial vaccination reactions can also occur.

Are there more/less cases of disease?

We can see seasonal changes. In the cold seasons and especially around Christmas, there are more often puppies with gastrointestinal symptoms. In summer, musculoskeletal injuries such as joint injuries or bone fractures are more likely to occur.

Do you have experience with parvovirosis diseases?

Yes, during my time in the veterinary hospital I regularly had to deal with parvovirosis diseases in puppies. The care of the dogs is very costly. The chance of survival not very high! Infected dogs are dull and refuse food and water intake. Often the body temperature drops. You need a heat lamp and dehydration (dehydration) is compensated by infusion therapy. Since food intake is either refused or no nutrients reach the body due to persistent vomiting and diarrhea, very high-energy food is fed via active feeding with syringes or even via a feeding tube. Blood is drawn regularly to monitor electrolytes and sugar levels. These are all "symptomatic" therapy approaches. This bridges the time in which the immune system of the puppy produces the important antibodies. These antibodies can finally fight against the virus. Often an additional antibiotic is given to stop an additional bacterial load (secondary infection).

How do you manage sick animals at your place (quarantine, care)?

Not every veterinarian has the possibility to treat puppies with parvovirosis. Because hygiene and isolation are very important factors. The dogs must be kept in a quarantine station and special hygiene measures such as disposable gowns, gloves, and special disinfectants must be followed.If parvovirosis is suspected, the dog is transferred to a clinic with quarantine facilities.

Who bears the costs?

The owners of the puppy must pay the cost. This can be quite expensive, as intensive care for several days with constant monitoring is necessary.

Do educational work?

Yes, we provide information about the very important vaccine protection in conversations. We also advise against buying from hobby breeders, online marketplaces and from abroad. You should always have the sibling puppies and the mother shown to you and pay special attention to the hygiene on site.

vetevo conclusion

When buying a puppy, you should very carefully check the health of the mother and the puppies – have they been dewormed, have they been vaccinated? Get proofs! Take enough time to get to know the breeder. Only then you will be able to see if the four-legged friends are doing well, if they have always been well taken care of and if there might be a higher risk of the puppy getting sick after all.

Trust your gut feeling. If you have an uneasy feeling, wait rather than make the wrong decision prematurely.

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